10 Inspiring Books By TheaterMakers To Read Right Now (And how to win them all!)

So, who doesn’t need a little inspirational pick-up right now?

And who better than to inspire you than some of the most successful TheaterMakers?

Below is a list of 10 Inspiring Books written by your favorite TheaterMakers, that will help inspire, entertain and educate . . . at the same time. 

And get this – we’re going to give away ALL TEN to one lucky person!  Keep reading, and at the end of the list, I’ll explain how.

I hope you’ll support the incredible hard of these TheaterMakers by picking up a copy.  Or two (I like to buy two copies of books – one for myself and one to give to someone who I know would enjoy it.)

  1. Take You Wherever You Go  by Kenny Leon
  2. A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stage by Kristen Chenoweth
  3. Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
  4. Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning by Leslie Odom Jr.
  5. Fearless by Mandy Gonzalez
  6. The Chance to Fly by Ali Stroker
  7. Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood by Andrew Rannells
  8. They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
  9. Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda
  10. The Backstagers and The Ghostlight by Andy Mientus


Ok, to win this basket of books, here’s what to do!

  • Head over to my Instagram post about the books.
  • SHARE this post to your story and TAG me @kendavenportbway.
  • I will BUY all 10 of these books for the winner (to be announced tomorrow on my Instagram).


Good luck and happy reading!!!


What is Clubhouse and do TheaterMakers need to join?

I told you!

On Tuesday, I mentioned how every few blinks a new social media platform is born.

The latest? A part podcast, part livestream, audio-only network called Clubhouse.

It’s the next variant in virtual conversations.

See, what social media did to blogging, Clubhouse is doing to podcasting.

A podcast (like a blog) is one-way recorded audio communication.  You push out an episode.  People listen.  Maybe they comment every once in a while.

Clubhouse is two-way audio communication. And it’s LIVE.

Someone like, I don’t know, me, hosts a session.  About a specific topic, like, I don’t know, when Broadway will come back. And sure, sure, I may offer my insider-opinions and share a few behind-the-scenes-secrets.  But the cool part of Clubhouse is when the hosts involve the audience.

Yep, the hosts can allow any of the followers to join the conversation, ask a question, debate an issue, etc.

It’s like public-access talk radio.

And it’s working.

There were 600,000 active weekly users in December.

There are 10,000,000 active weekly users in February.

Hello, organic growth! Nice to meet you!!!

Right now, Clubhouse is an invite-only platform.  That’s right, you can only join if you’re invited by a member – like the original Gmail. And since it’s still in its beta testing, it’s only available for iOS devices.  Can you say “velvet rope strategy”, anyone?  They are all-in on the “club” part of their name, for sure.

So what’s my prediction for this new network?  Will it flame out like Snapchat?  Or Foursquare?  Will Facebook either buy-it or crush it with a similar product (e.g. reels to TikTok’s, well, TikToks)?

Like talk-radio, Clubhouse will be a smaller platform as opposed to mainstream social media (e.g. Facebook, etc.), but its users will be MORE passionate.  These are where fan clubs will congregate to compare notes on their favorite shows and debate the ones they hate.

So yes, keep your ears on Clubhouse if avid theater fans are something you’re interested in (or if you are one!).

And by far, the best way to learn Clubhouse or ANY new platform is just to give it a try.

That’s what I’m going to do.  Like everything in the tech space, in the theater space, and in life, I’m just going to jump in and see what happens.

Yep, next Wednesday, March 24th at 2 pm EST/ 11 am PDT, I’m hosting my first clubhouse event, The Producer’s Perspective Matinee!  A 30-45 minute conversation about . . . well, shoot, why not . . .”When is Broadway coming back . . . and what is taking so long???”  And my co-hosts will be Sammi Cannold, Tim Hughes and more to be added soon!

Join me by following me on Clubhouse (@kendavenport).

I’ll talk a bit, and I’ll take questions, comments, and we’ll see what happens.

If you need an invite to Clubhouse, I can give you one. The first 5 people to follow me on Instagram and DM for an invite will get it!

5 NEW Things About Social Media Every TheaterMaker Should Know.

Don’t know about you, but it feels like every time I blink, there’s a new social media platform causing a buzz.

Or an old social media platform changing up its platform, trying to keep up with the new ones.

And because social media is a necessary tool in every TheaterMaker’s marketing toolkit, it can be difficult trying to keep up.

We’ve been doing a lot of research and in-the-trenches-testing lately (which means, we’ve been posting a lot).  The goal?  To determine what is working today, so we can predict will work tomorrow, no matter how many times we blink.

Here are five things we learned about social media that you should apply to your show, or yourself.

1. It’s not about Likes.

How many times a day do you check your Likes after you post?  Maybe you have a goal of hitting 10, 100 or 1,000?  Well, you’re aiming for the wrong “goal post”.

The fact is, the # of Likes is NOT what platforms like Facebook and Instagram care the most about . . . even though you do.

What do they value the most?  SHARES.  The more your posts get shared by your followers, the more the network will reward you with more views.

Likes are cheap. It doesn’t put the person’s rep on the line.  But shares are like “word of mouth,” the most valuable asset you can have.

And the Networks encourage it.

TAKEAWAY:  Don’t just create content.  Create shareable content.

2. It’s not about your # of Followers either.

How many times a day do you check your # of Followers?  Do you jump up and down when you grab a few?  Do you get depressed when you lose some?

Well, forget about how many Followers you have.  And focus on who you have.  Because the truth is, it only takes one follower to make the difference for your career or your show.

What do you want from your social media account anyway?  Do you have a goal?  If you’re using it to grow your business, you should.  And then you can focus on who your ideal followers might be and create content just for them.  Leave the millions of followers to the Kardashians and get a few hundred of the right followers instead.

TAKEAWAY:  It’s about who, not how many.

 3. Get engaged.

This sounds like advice my Mom gave me all through my 30s. But what it means in social media is that to have the greatest reach, your content must engage your followers. You must create stuff that gets comments. You must start conversations.

This is why controversial posts or posts that ask for your viewer’s opinions and outrages get so much organic traffic. The platforms WANT your passionate opinion on their networks . . . and they’ll send you people who agree AND disagree with you as a reward.

(I’ve even heard of one Instagram expert who puts typos IN his posts on purpose, so people will comment things like, “You spelled it wrong,” etc. over and over.  All those comments are still counted by Instagram!  Maybe that’s one of the reasons my TikTok post about Ratatouille got 2mm views!)

Remember, social networks are online water coolers. They’re boring if everyone just agrees all the time

The flip of this is that you should also get engaged with other people’s content. You need to comment on other accounts that you follow (especially those who you want to follow you!).

TAKEAWAY: Don’t worry about creating PERFECT content. Create content that makes people want to comment.

4. Authenticity is (still) in.

Be open. Be honest. Be you. If people don’t like that, that’s ok. Let ’em follow someone else (see #2).

And show ’em what’s behind the curtain. That’s what people want. Think of your social media platforms as your own reality show. And we all know that the good stuff on reality shows is not always the “good stuff.”

One of my most viewed posts of all time is NOT a shot of me winning a Tony Award, or a shot of me hanging out with a celeb. It’s of me, walking my dog, in my PJs, holding a pint of Pinkberry, after finally getting my six-month-old daughter to sleep.

I look like a mess. And since we all look like a mess sometimes, people gave it their thumbs up.

TAKEAWAY: You are the star of your own reality show.  Show them all the angles.

5. Increasing your content WON’T increase your following.

If you think to yourself, “Oh if I post 3x as much per day, I’ll get 3x as many people to follow me!”

Sorry, but that is NOT how the platforms work. We know. We’ve tested and tracked increasing content across all our show accounts.

The platforms don’t care about the amount of content, they care about the quality of the content. And how your content can help other members of the platform.

And that’s the KEY. Your platforms are about you, duh, but to truly grow your reach, they can’t just be about you. They have to help your followers somehow.

How? You can help with the right inspirational quote at the right time. By reminding them of a holiday. Or, the best way to help that gets the most shares? By being downright funny. Because nothing is more valuable than a laugh, especially these days.

But wait, there’s more!

TAKEAWAY:  It’s not how much you post, it’s what you post.

6.  BONUS: Don’t create as you come up with it.  Create content like you make cookies.

Most people post content on the fly.  Nothing is more inefficient than that.  You don’t make one chocolate chip cookie at a time, do you?  Why would you make your social media content the same way?

Make your content in “batches.” Take time to make a whole ton of it, and then spread it out over a specific period of time.  Not only will you save time, but you’ll also make better content.


TAKEAWAY:  Learn how to Costco your content.  Get it in bulk.

– – – – –

Speaking of “batching content” . . .

Truth time . . . I learn most of my social media tips and tricks from OTHER industries that know how to do it much better than we do. And if you want to grow your following for your show, or yourself, I suggest you do the same.

And now . . . yep, I’m about the lift the curtain for you right here . . . the place where I’ve learned the most about social media is a site called DigitalMarketer.

Digital Marketer is holding a very special social media workshop THIS THURSDAY, March 18th called “Create A Year’s Worth of Content In One Day.”

If you want to grow your following and reach (and every TheaterMaker should), I strongly recommend you take it.  Click here to learn more.